When you first wrote your resume, or had a professional craft it for you, you listened to those “in the know” who told you to review and update it once or twice a year. And, you said to yourself, “I’m going to do just that!”

Fast forward five or even 10 years. You’ve been working and life has been buzzing along when, wham! You’re blindsided by a restructure or downsizing. Or even if the situation is less drastic, you find yourself in the job market, either passively looking due to growing dissatisfaction with your current position, or actively in need of work, once again. And the words “resume” and “update” have not appeared in the same sentence since you ran off copies of that original document. Well, take heart; it’s never too late and always a good idea to make this happen.

These tips will help make your resume more professional and eye-catching and breathe life into it as you forge ahead on your career path:

Add Relevant Accomplishments and Professional Achievements.
The operative word here is “relevant.” Courses you’ve completed, degrees you’ve earned, organizations you’ve joined and conferences you’ve attended are all good examples, as long as they’re pertinent to the new position or career you’re seeking. Remove the accomplishments that are no longer important. Create a concise document that tells a compelling – and current – story of the added value you can provide to an employer.

Think in Terms of Keywords.
Chances are, when you last updated your resume, keywords were not a major consideration. But this has changed, as a growing number of companies utilize electronic scanning and searching methods. Study sites like Monster and note which keywords appear in postings for jobs similar to yours. Then, incorporate these keywords into your resume.

Survey and Freshen up the Skills Section of Your Resume.
Make sure your proficiency levels and years of experience are current. In fact, proof the entire document with the same thought in mind.

Start and Update a “Kudos File” to Keep Your Resume Fresh and Sell Yourself.
Make a bulleted list of recent projects you’ve completed, impressive performance reviews and emails or other documents complimenting your work. Include quantifiable detail expressed in terms of percentages of improvement, dollars saved, revenue earned and before-and-after comparisons. Recording this valuable data while it’s fresh in your mind means you won’t have to dig and search for it later on.

While refreshing the content of your resume, it’s also a good time to put it into a new file format such as plain text or PDF, which makes it more user-friendly and accessible to a wider audience. Also, keep in mind that once you’ve completed a general resume update, you’ll need to produce tailored versions of it for every job you apply for.

With just a little planning, organization and creative thinking, you can turn yesterday’s resume into today’s highly effective job search tool.


For more help with constructing resumes, interviewing, networking and other advice during your search process, Contact the experts at Alternative Staffing Today.

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